Re: CHAT: return of the long-lost (was: RE: THEORY/USAGE: irregular English plurals
|From:||Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, May 29, 2002, 17:04|
En réponse à Andrew Smith <andrew.smith20@...>:
> 1a. I used to climb mountains.
> 1b. Used you to climb mountains?
> 1c. I used not to climb mountains, (but now I do).
> The interrogative in 1b sounds odd to me, though And's use of exactly
> construction kicked off the discussion, so it's not completely dead. 1c,
> the other hand, is perfectly fine to me, though maybe I would also
> 1d. I didn't use(d) to climb mountains, (but now I do).
We've been taught that 1c was possible but rare and mostly litterary. So in
this my teacher was right :)) .
> Anyway, if I understand you right, you were taught that 1b and 1c should
> replaced by:
> 2b. Were you used to climbing mountains?
> 2c. I wasn't used to climbing mountains.
> These again are good sentences, but they don't seem to mean the same
> as 1b and 1c, in my opinion. The sentences in 1 refer to events in the
> which were repeated or habitual, while those in 2 refer to things which
> familiar or the subject had experience in.
I didn't know there was a distinction like that. But now that you mention it it
makes perfectly sense.
> Obviously these meanings are related, because things which you do
> tend to become familiar to you, but there is a difference (I think), so
> not really a suppletion, more an approximation.
Well, seeing that other possibilities seem awkward to many anglophones, the
solution I was taught is probably not that bad. In my experience, it's better
to use an approximation which sounds grammatical to people rather than a form
which sounds awkward to people, however accurate it is.
Take your life as a movie: do not let anybody else play the leading role.